21st December, 2008 was the start of my visit to Vietnam. Only got home at 4 am on the morning of the 28th as the plane was delayed for 2 hours. For each day of my visit I will try to write of the various impressions that were registered in my mind.
Our departure for Hanoi on the 21st. December was scheduled for 4.30pm. On trying to board the Air Asia plane we were directed to Gate 5 but having lined up for half an hour the tv screen was changed and our departure was shown to be in Gate 2. We obediently walked over to Gate 2 and took up our place in the line. On reaching the gate, we were told the correct gate was Gate 5. Having told the screen was still showing Gate 2, the attendant just walked up to the screen and switched it off and said it was a technical fault. That’s was Malaysian courtesy and Malaysian efficiency for you! I would have thought MAS (mana Ada sistem) applies only to our national carrier.
On entering the plane it was evident about half the passengers in the plane were Vietnamese workers returning home. Talking to some of them, found that most of them were returning home after having been working in Malaysia for more than 2 years. Many of the ladies had left young children at home to come and seek employment in Malaysia. Excitement could be discerned from their expressions. Like parents everywhere, they had bought gifts of different kinds for their loved ones.
On walking out the arrival gate, the lounge was packed with people, many carrying flowers. But these were not our tourist guides welcoming us. The flowers held by the family members of the returning Vietnamese were for their sacrificing relatives whom they had not seen for the last couple of years. The scene was very touching and not only the Vietnamese were moved to tears.
As it was already late we headed straight for dinner. This was our first meal in Vietnam. The dinner was different, it was mainly of Vietnamese cuisine which we enjoyed. We also enjoyed the music played on Vietnamese musical instruments. After that, it was straight to the hotel – The ‘Thong Loi”.
Come visit again. Thank you.